Why is the district purchasing laptops for all 6th grade students?

The district is working to prepare students for the 21st century in which technology will

continue to play an ever-increasing role. The computers will be a tool that students and

teachers can use to facilitate inquiry based instruction, problem solving, and

communication. Teachers that have worked in a one-to-one classroom report increased

student engagement once the technology devices were introduced.


How will the incorporation of a laptop change the learning experience for my child?

Teachers and students will have the opportunity to access a variety of internet and

software applications that can enhance the learning environment. Students will be able

to instantly access news, blogs, interactive maps, virtual experiments, and a multitude of

other resources as they investigate and eventually master new content and skills.

How will my child complete assignments without a textbook?

Many of our textbooks already have an on-line version. For those without an electronic

version, teachers will work with students to identify reputable sources and sites that can

be accessed to assist with assignments. Videotaping lessons and/or podcasting may also

be utilized as a way to provide students with anytime access to the instructor’s lesson.


What additional cost will be associated with the laptop that my student will be issued?

The equipment is being purchased through the district leasing fund. There may be

additional optional accessories that students may wish to purchase (external mice, ear

buds, etc.) that will not be supplied by the district.


Will my child’s internet access be filtered or monitored?

We are working on a system that provides the same internet restrictions that are

currently in place while students are connected to the Unit 5 network. More information

and specific details will be provided closer to deployment. While on the network,

students will be monitored by teacher software.


What will occur if my child damages the laptop?

The technology department is currently working on policy language and procedures that

will address this question. Additional information regarding potential consequences

and/or cost associated with excessive or repetitive damage will be discussed at the

parent boot camp in August. Some damage may also be covered by company warranty.

Replacement machines will be available in buildings for loan if a machine has to be sent

away for repair. Students will have the same machine throughout their middle school

career. Individual machine care is extremely important.


What will the expectations be for parents?

Parents will be required to attend a “Technology Boot Camp” evening in August. At that

meeting district staff will conduct informational sessions, disseminate machines, discuss

procedures and policies as well as answer questions. Each parent will sign an agreement

in which they acknowledge responsibility for the machine and overseeing the use of the

device. Computers WILL NOT be distributed until a parent has attended the boot camp

and the parental permission agreement has been signed.


Will the district infrastructure support the integration of 1000 additional devices?

Technology staff will be working during the summer to ensure each building has a robust

infrastructure that will support the number of devices that will be utilized.


How are teachers being prepared for this conversion?

Professional development is being designed to meet the needs of the teachers. The first

focused professional development will be on Monday, April 30
th at the district School

Improvement Day. Throughout the summer and into the fall there will be additional

professional development opportunities. Additional technology staff will work

throughout the year to support teachers with the digital conversion.


What if I don’t have internet access at home?

Students without internet access will need to notify their teachers. Teachers will work

closely with students to assist with completion of internet based lessons. Additionally,

the district has worked with local internet providers to offer a reduced internet rate for

families receiving assistance. Please contact your school office for additional details.


Is it an option for students to leave laptops in their lockers?

This depends on whether or not the student has any homework assignments. It is the

students responsibility to have knowledge of where the secured laptop is at all times.
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